Admission of pets from abroad

Updated 11/2021

Matters that need to be dealt with prior to travelling to Spain with a pet

Vocabulary
  • What do you need to know?
  • What do you need to do?

It is FREE OF CHARGE​

The PERIOD OF VALIDITY varies for each one of the documents provided

You need to apply BEFORE ENTERING SPAIN​

It can be processed IN PERSON​

What is it?

It is the process for obtaining the certificates and meeting the requirements needed to enter Spain with a pet. The procedure must be done in the country of origin, before entering Spanish territory.

Important information

In Spain, pets are understood to be:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Ferrets

Furthermore, to be regarded as pets, they must not be travelling for commercial purposes and must be with their owner or an authorised person, who will be responsible for them during the journey. A maximum of five animals are allowed per person and non-vaccinated animals are not allowed to enter.

In order for these animals – and also pet birds (except for poultry, which are domesticated birds used for food and, therefore, are not regarded as pets) and other species – to enter, is essential to comply with the established requirements relating to the animal's health and supporting documents. These requirements vary depending on whether the animal comes from an EU member country or not.

Why is it important to apply for it?

It is important to ensure compliance with the requirements for admission of pets to prevent the spread of potentially infectious diseases and ensure the protection of human and animal health. Furthermore, if all the requirements are not complied with, the animal may be held in quarantine, or returned to its country of origin, or even, as a last resort, put down.

If you are an EU citizen, you can check the official Government of Catalonia Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food website for the procedure (available in English, Catalan and Spanish). 

If you are a non-EU citizen, you can check the official Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food website for the procedure (available in Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of Spain). 

Who does it apply to?

It is aimed at everyone wishing to enter Spain with a pet.

Who should apply for it?

The application may be submitted in person by the pet’s owner or whoever will be responsible for it.

What requirements must be met?
Requirements for an animal to be regarded as a pet
  • There may not be any commercial purpose, nor transfer of ownership.
  • A maximum of five animals may be brought.
  • You must ensure that the animals travel accompanied by the owner or person responsible for them.
General health requirements for cats, dogs and ferrets
  • They must be identified by a tattoo (done prior to 3/7/2011) or a microchip.
  • They must be over 3 months old.
    • If coming from a country outside the European Union where there is, or there is a risk of, rabies, the minimum age is 7 months.
  • They must have had the rabies vaccination.
    • If it is the first time the animal has been vaccinated, you must wait 21 days before being able to travel.
  • If you have a European pet passport 
    • The passport must be stamped and signed by a vet. The document must contain all the required information
  • If you do not have a European pet passport 
    • You must have an animal health certificate filled in according to the European Union form. This document must be obtained in the country of origin and must be signed by a vet and submitted, at a minimum, in Spanish.
    • Have a certified copy of the animals’ identification and vaccination details.
  • If you are coming from a country that is not included in annex II of Regulation (EU) 577/2013
    • A test must be carried out for rabies antibodies.
    • A blood test for rabies must be carried out in an authorised laboratory.
General health requirements for pet birds and other species
  • If you are coming from an EU member country
    • You must have an INTRA-2 form veterinary certificate drawn up, at a minimum, in Spanish and issued within the last ten days.
    • Poultry are never regarded as pets, as they are domesticated birds used for food.
  • If you are coming from a non-EU member country 
    • You must have an animal health certificate filled in according to the European Union form, signed by a vet and submitted, at a minimum, in Spanish.
    • In the specific case of pet birds, one of the four options set out in the veterinary certificate must be complied with:
      • Prior to import, they must be in isolation under official control in the country of origin for at least 30 days.
      • After import, they must be in quarantine for 30 days at authorised facilities.
      • They must have been vaccinated in the last 6 months and not later than 60 days prior to travel. They must have been re-vaccinated against bird flu at least once.
      • At least during the 10 days prior to export, they must have been isolated and given a test to detect the H5N1 bird flu antigen or genome, carried out with a sample collected not before the third day of isolation.

These are general requirements that may vary depending on the animal being transported and on its age, medical history and country of origin. You are advised to consult the country of origin's consulate or diplomatic mission directly.  

Which body is responsible for the formality?

EU countries: Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food (Generalitat de Catalunya - Government of Catalonia)

Non-EU countries: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Spanish Government)

What advice and suggestions could help you?
  • You are advised to consult a vet and the country of origin’s consulate or diplomatic mission before you travel to Spanish territory, allowing a sufficient amount of time. That would be, if you come from an EU member state, a minimum of two months prior to travelling. If you are travelling from outside the EU, it is advisable to do so earlier. 
  • Before travelling, you need to ensure that the animal complies with all the established requirements. If any of the requirements set out in the “What requirements must you meet?” section are not complied with, the animal may be held in quarantine, or returned to its country of origin, or even, as a last resort, down.
  • If you wish to travel with a specific animal that is not included in the list of requirements, you need to consult the conditions (only in Spanish) for being able to do so and the additional documentation you may need.
  • In order to identify your pet correctly and have all the documentation available, you need to go to your usual vet.
What other linked formalities should you know about?

 

What do you need to do?

In person

To ensure the admission of pets coming from abroad, you need to go to the animal's usual vet to get the documentation needed and comply with the established requirements.

 

The requirements and documentation requested may vary depending on your country of origin. Check your situation with the relevant Spanish diplomatic mission or consular office prior to starting travel.

What steps need to be taken to get your pet admitted?

1
2
3
Go to the vet and get the documentation that shows that you fulfil the requirements

Before travelling to Spain with your pet, check the essential requirements for its admission. Go through the necessary processes which are set out in the third information section (What do you need to know? > What requirements do you need to meet?).

Once you have checked the requirements, go to your usual vet in your country of residence.

The vet is the person in charge of identifying the pet and giving it the necessary vaccinations:

  • In European countries, the actual vet may authorise the issue of the European pet passport. This document must be stamped and signed by the vet.
  • If you do not have the above passport, you need to obtain an animal health certificate, which is issued by the relevant body in your country of origin. This document certifies that the animal is in a good state of health and attests to its origin.

Before starting to travel, get and prepare the documentation that will be requested.

Documentation
  • European pet passport or animal health certificate for the animal.
  • Animal’s vaccination card.

Remember that depending on the country of origin, you may be asked for additional documentation. See the “Viajar con animales de compañía” (travelling with pets) section of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food web portal to get more information (available in Catalan, Spanish and other Spanish co-official languages).

Next
Submit the documentation when you enter Spain

Once you begin your journey and enter Spain, you must submit the documentation proving that the pet complies with all the established requirements. The documentation should be presented at customs, if you are requested to do so.

Next
Apply for registration of the animal

If you own dogs, cats, ferrets or other wild animals in captivity, the first step you need to take to prove your ownership once you arrive in the city of Barcelona is to register them in the register of pets and wild animals in captivity.

To find out about the procedure for registering animals, go to the information for the formality, where information and all the details about how to do it are provided.